USA Today3:53 (Darby)
Universal (Sunday)untimed (Jim)
Robert Ryan’s New York Times crossword, “Give Me a Break!” —Nate’s write-up
03.19.23 Sunday New York Times Crossword
23A: DEPART|MENTALLY [Zone out?]
34A: INTRO|VERSION [Beginner’s edition?]
47A: SUP|POSITION [Seat at the dining table?]
63A: KIN|ESTHETIC [Beauty that runs in the family?]
84A: MALE|FACTION [Boys’ club?]
98A: CON|TEXTUALLY [Swindle by instant messaging?]
109A: INTER|RELATIONS [Use a family crypt?]
Each of this puzzle’s theme entries is a single word that, if given a break (as suggested by the title), can be re-read as a two word phrase that matches the clue. I think some of these worked better for me than others, though DEPART|MENTALLY and CON|TEXTUALLY were certainly my favorite themer / theme clue pairs.
Overall, I had a hard time getting traction in this puzzle for whatever reason, hence my much longer than average solve time. Did y’all experience that, too, or was I just having an off day? I particularly got stuck at the top, as once I put in YUTZ, I was confident that 7D was SNOOZE, which tripped me up for ages! Tricky tricky. :) All the same, congrats to our constructor today on his debut NYT puzzle! ::celebration emoji::
Other random thoughts:
– Loved seeing a Ted Lasso shout out at 14A SOCCER!
– I wonder if OLDS was originally clued as modern slang for non-young folks?
– I think the constructor’s original clue for ETYMOLOGY [German for kindergarten, say?] was more enjoyable than the replaced clue, but it was a nice aha moment figuring out the answer either way.
Bravo all around to this debut puzzle! Here’s to many more.
Evan Birnholz’ Washington Post crossword, “Forming a Bond” —Matthew’s write-up
Evan Birnholz’ Washington Post crossword solution, “Forming A Bond,” 3/18/2023
The answer to this week’s metapuzzle is the missing seventh theme answer, formed by combining two entries in the completed grid.
Our seven theme answers:
- 23a [Stammering, initially incorrect response to the trivia question “Which Constitution State college is in the Ivy League?”] UCONN, ER, YALE
- 37a [Pizza joint?] PEPPERONI VENDOR
- 64a [Telephone some certain Buddhist onlooker?] CALL A ZEN BYSTANDER
- 79a [Dunkable cookies that make you feel like a tough guy?] MACHISMO OREOS
- 90a [Middle English and Latin, e.g.?] FEUDAL TONGUES
- 109a [Monopoly company’s granny?] HASBRO’S NANA
Each of these contrived phrases disguise the last name of an actor who has played James Bond in film. In chronological order of first appearance, no less. So we’re looking for two entries that will produce Daniel CRAIG when combined.
As I think to myself, “Wouldn’t it be great if they were in symmetrical positions?,” I find ACCRA and IGLOO, indeed in matching positions across from each other in this mirror symmetry grid. I wonder if Evan initially tried to include ACCRA IGLOO as a seventh themer within the grid, but regardless it was a satisfying (and not difficult) hunt for a little extra meta payoff.
- 34a [Mario franchise character with a pink outfit and a mushroom head] TOADETTE. Almost all of my Mario knowledge is from Mario Kart, which seems to have a bunch of characters that don’t fit aesthetically with the Mario mainstays. I’m curious where Toadette fits into the franchise.
- 43a [Semihard cheese first made in Prussia] TILSIT. I am just aware enough of TILSIT to be able to fill it in from a couple crosses, but not enough for the Prussia clue to be helpful or meaningful in anyway. It’s either a more common cheese than I know, or the Prussia element is particularly significant.
- 55a [Donna who wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Goldfinch”] TARTT. Ms. TARTT was pretty en vogue as a grid entry a few years ago, especially around the film adaptation of The Goldfinch in 2019. It’s nice to see her again.
- 121a [Google.com, imdb.com or wikipedia.org, e.g. (any of which may come in handy for solving this meta)] URL. I didn’t need it this time, but I always appreciate a small pointer towards the meta. In this case, the inclusion of imdb points a solver toward film.
- 124a [Bond, e.g.] SPY. Ha, another hint here that I definitely did not notice. I also did not notice the title before compiling this write up. That’s helpful, too.
- 7d [Tennis star Stephens] SLOANE. Stephens has had something of an inconsistent career – she splashed onto the scene with an upset of Serena Williams in 2013, but had a few down years before a strong stretch and US Open title in 2017-18. She did make a run at the French Open last year, and is still a name to know among the collection of American talent in the sport.
- 32d [Adam Sandler’s SNL character who would sing about the news on “Weekend Update”] OPERA MAN. Sandler reprised the character in a guest appearance in 2019.
- 67d [Film score composer Rota] NINO. A new name to me, but his credits include The Godfather and La Dolce Vita, so that’s very much on me.
Universal, “Hidden Costs” by Guilherme Gilioli — norah’s write-up
- CHECKEREDFLAGS 4D [*Finish line sights]
- CASHMERESWEATER 6D [*Soft winter wear]
- CARDINALNUMBERS 8D [*They’re used for counting quantities]
- UPFRONTPAYMENT 15D [Request for some preorders … or what you can find in the answers to the starred clues]
With the revealer being UPFRONTPAYMENT, it makes perfect sense that the revealers are presented both vertically (UP) and with the payment type (CHECK, CASH, CARD) at the FRONT of each entry – and may I also note at the “front” of the grid when read down. Quite elegant, and raises this one step from a traditional words-before-or-after theme type.
The rest of the grid fills in nicely. We have ARTDEALER 32D [One making money with other people’s work?] and TAKEADIVE 3D [Lose intentionally] each stacked next to a theme entry, making for an unusual placement for long bonuses.
Fun stuff with ALIG 55A [Character who asked Buzz Aldrin if the people on the moon were friendly].
Thanks Guilherme and the Universal team!
Dennis Nullet’s Universal Sunday crossword, “Upended”—Jim’s review
Theme answers (in the Down direction) are familiar phrases whose final (end) words are “upended” (written backwards) resulting in crossword wackiness.
Universal Sunday crossword solution · “Upended” · Dennis Nullet · 3.19.23
- 3d. [Campaign literature?] VOTER DISTRICT SPAM. Maps. Hmm. That base phrase isn’t exactly in-the-language.
- 7d. [Answer the call of the wild?] GO WITH THE WOLF. Flow. That’s much better. Solid base phrase and plenty of surface sense in the made-up phrase. Nice clue, too.
- 13d. [Hot new font?] BLAZING SERIF. Fires. “Blazing fires” isn’t an in-the-language phrase either, and a serif does not a font make. This one just doesn’t work for me.
- 25d. [Giant in the field?] ELEPHANT IN THE MOOR. Room. Another good one.
- 37d. [Topic at an international barber’s convention?] WIDE WORLD OF STROPS. Sports. Fine, but a little nonsensical.
- 62d. [Reason to ask, “Where’s the beef?!”?] HAMBURGER SNUB. Buns. Same as the last one.
- 65d. [Star-crossed love?] ROMANTIC DOOM. Mood. Meh again. “Romantic mood” isn’t a colloquial phrase.
Hit and miss with these. Some are quite good and others not so good. The theme idea is great but I would’ve hoped for greater consistency in the entries.
Top fill: ZIG ZAG, TWO CENTS, SPIN A WEB, DAMASCUS, NUTRIENT, OREGANO. I’m on the fence with CAT-EYED, but it gets plenty of Google hits, so maybe it’s just me.
Clues of note:
- 13a. [Gone bust?]. BROKEN. Needed nearly all the crosses here. Still having trouble interpreting this one.
- 38d. [Football offense’s count]. ELEVEN. For a fleeting moment I was picturing Dracula as the starting quarterback.
- 42d. [Digital companion in an online game] NEOPET. Huh. I thought Neopets was long dead, but apparently it’s back.
- 72d. [“No kidding, Sherlock”]. DUH. That’s not the phrase we know and love.
Nice theme, but it felt inconsistent. 3.25 stars.
Zhouqin Burnikel’s USA Today crossword, “The Last of Us” —Darby’s write-up
Editor: Erik Agard
Theme: The last letters of the two words in each theme answer spell out US.
Zhouqin Burnikel’s USA Today crossword, “The Last of Us” solution for 3/19/2023
- 17a [“‘The Matrix’ star”] KEANU REEVES
- 26a [“‘Beneath Still Waters’ singer”] EMMYLOU HARRIS
- 61a [“‘The Fabous Baker Boys’ actor”] BEAU BRIDGES
Short review from me today, but I enjoyed this puzzle. Having US as the endings makes for difficulty in finding themers that work, I think, and so it makes sense that all of these are names. I got both BEAU BRIDGES and EMMYLOU HARRIS on the crosses, but KEANU REEVES was pretty easy to stick right in there. Obviously, this is an apt theme considering the prevalence and popularity of The Last of Us onHBO Max, which I admittedly haven’t watched because zombies freak me out, but still, I love that it themes this puzzle.
Other fill I liked includes MORE OR LESS and 27d [“Preparation for a political candidate”] MOCK DEBATE. RESIDUE, BASIL, and DOGSAT were also faves.
Alan Massengill & Doug Peterson’s LA Times crossword, “Bring It On” – Gareth’s theme summary
The title and first answer should be enough to have tipped you to what is going on in today’s puzzle by Messrs. Peterson & Massengill. IT is added and wackiness ensues:
- [Drill team for outlaws?], MARCHINGBANDITS
- [Study up on Newton’s theories?], GRAVITYTRAIN
- [Book club choices for a church group?], PULPITFICTION
- [Vampire’s introspective question?], TOBITEORNOTTOBITE
- [Unusual cold snap in England?], BRITAINFREEZE.
- [Funny business in an Oregon city?], EUGENELEVITY
- [“Now where did that minty cocktail go … “?], IVELOSTMYMOJITO. Best themer!
National days on Sun Mar 19th, 2023. Explore worldwide events, festivals, funny, weird, and national days on this day! It's Pretzel Sunday, National Let's Laugh Day, National Chocolate Caramel Day, International Client's Day, National Poultry Day… and much more!What is the Sunday of 19th March 2023? ›
National days on Sun Mar 19th, 2023. Explore worldwide events, festivals, funny, weird, and national days on this day! It's Pretzel Sunday, National Let's Laugh Day, National Chocolate Caramel Day, International Client's Day, National Poultry Day… and much more!What is the importance of March 2023? ›
The important days in March 2023 include Zero Discrimination Day (1st Mar), World Wildlife Day (3rd Mar), International Women's Day (8th Mar), CISF Raising Day (10th Mar), International Day of Happiness (20th Mar), World Poetry Day (21st Mar), World Water Day (22nd Mar), etc.What happened on the 19th of March? ›
This Day in History: March 19
On this day in 2003, U.S. President George W. Bush ordered air strikes on Baghdad, thus launching the Iraq War to oust dictator Saddam Hussein, who was believed (wrongly) to be manufacturing weapons of mass destruction.
|Date||Day count in 2023|
|First sunday of march 2023:||March 5||64|
|Second sunday of march 2023:||March 12||71|
|Third sunday of march 2023:||March 19||78|
|Fourth sunday of march 2023:||March 26||85|
Lord have mercy. Oration O God, who through your Word reconcile the human race to yourself in a wonderful way, grant, we pray, that with prompt devotion and eager faith the Christian people may hasten toward the solemn celebrations to come.What is the prayer of the people march 19 2023? ›
We pray for our witness in our communities, that we may faithfully reflect Jesus, the Light of the World, by our lives and our words. Let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy. We pray for all who are sick or in trouble, for all who are finding their lives restricted through illness.